Best Running Gear of 2014
You certainly can’t discount preparation or a good playlist in your earbuds. But personally, I’ve found that the clothes often make the run.
A perfect fitting pair of shorts, a shirt that is soft but doesn’t get heavy from sweat and well fitting wicking socks are what I can always go back to when trying to replicate a successful race day or long neighborhood run.
Performance attire can be expensive and spending money on an untried property isn’t usually a risk I’m willing to take. So, I go back to my old favorites and have a range of the same shirt and shorts in several colors. But, whenever gear is offered from manufacturers for review purposes, I gladly take them up on their offer so I can get a feel for what’s new. Rarely do I write a review, though, because I’m usually not impressed with the merch and I would rather not write a review than write a negative one. I’m trying to keep it positive, you know?
I had never heard of lululemon until they approached me about a review. They sent over a pair of Surge shorts with a 7″ inseam and the Metal Vent Tech Short Sleeve V-Neck shirt. They both retail for around $64 each on the lululemon website.
I was immediately taken with the shirt’s construction. Seams were moved out of the way to really open up the cut of the shirt while still keeping a tailored look. It was the perfect spot between fitted and loose and cuts a great silhouette. When running, even a slight breeze cuts right through the shirt so airflow is tangible. Even when profusely sweating in Georgia heat on six mile runs, the shirt never felt heavy or uncomfortable. The unique pin-head weave patterning is responsible for that effect and also produces one of the softest running shirts I’ve ever worn. The comfort from a v-neck was just icing on the cake.
The shorts are very lightweight and aren’t restrictive in the waist or inseam. There are two pockets, one for a key and one for GU or other energy gel. The gel pocket is in the back waistband and hugs tightly without any bounce during the run. I immediately forgot it was there. The reflective band and styling details are classy and subtle, making it easy to pair with any top.
I’ve had the lululemon shirt/shorts combo for two weeks and have worn them for six consecutive runs. They wash and dry well without needing special settings, care or handling. I’m rough on my gear and it looks like they’ll hold up to the strain. They fit well are comfortable throughout long runs and look great, too.
For the ultimate compliment, I’m going to be buying more of these in the future. I think I’ve found my new go-to running gear and in my mind, this is the best running shirt and short of 2014.
And I can’t believe I’ve left out one of the coolest things until the end. On the inside of the shirt’s bottom hem (completely unknown to the outside world) are motivational sayings. On my shirt it reads:
Visualize Your Victory
Realize Your Goals
Believe in Yourself
And Make Sure to Drink a Beer or Two Along the Way
And after all, what more running motivation do you need than that?
You can find lululemon products at their website: shop.lululemon.com.